Stories of Hope is one response to the COVID-19 outbreak that has taken over our lives, and the world, in less than a month.
As two twenty-something women who work, in different ways, in the mental health sector, our schedules and expectations were completely upturned: we suddenly went from going out for work, meeting people all the time, eating at restaurants once a week and barely finding time to breathe, to working from home, staring anxiously at news apps, spending much more time with our families than we have done for a while, video-calling each other, doing household work, reading, drawing, colouring, watching Netflix, meditating and wondering what on earth to do next.
Through these few days, one thing we have understood is: this time is scary but it also is full of hope.
It is scary because of the overwhelming news that threatens to pop up on our phones almost every second, because our survival instinct makes us look at every person with suspicion, because ‘social distancing’ becomes a way to marginalise those who are already struggling, and because every single day is unpredictable.
But it is also full of hope.
Time at home gives us the space to breathe and to reconnect with ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to understand what we are really sensing, thinking and feeling. Not being able to go out and get everything we want reorients us and reminds us of the things we really need to live.
Stories of Hope is our effort to spread hope at this time. We know that many people are having similar experiences as us and facing similar questions.
The questions may be about ourselves: How to keep myself calm and centred during this time? How do I connect to myself when there is so much to be scared of around me? What do I do to spend my day? How do I keep myself- and the people I love- safe?
And then, there are the questions that are about the people around us: How do I stop looking at every person with suspicion? What’s going to happen to the people who depend on daily earning to eat? And what about the doctors, nurses, delivery agents, security guards, and all the others on the frontlines? What can I do to help others while sitting in quarantine at home?
Through Stories of Hope, we are going to share practices that are helping us answer some of these questions and that remind us stay hopeful. Every week, we will share one practice that helps us to connect with ourselves and one practice that helps us to connect with others.
We invite you to join us in these practices, tell us how they made you feel and suggest new practices that give you hope.
We also plan to highlight action being taken for the most vulnerable people during this time- and ways that we can try to be part of these, while staying safe.
We hope to remind ourselves and our readers that darkness is not the only reality- where there is darkness, there is also the light of hope.